Math, Math, Math! {and a FREEBIE}

I just put the finishing touches on lots of Math fun for the upcoming 4th nine weeks! My school and the 2nd grade team are trying to make the last nine weeks our "transition" into common core for next year.  So, I used only the common core standards to create centers, games and activities.  You can click on the pictures below to grab the new Math Movers: Common Core Edition # 2 and the MEGA Number Sense 0-1000: Math Centers pack. 

 I also wanted to say THANK YOU to several of you who nominated Primary Punch for some GREAT blog awards.  I saw them and plan to write a great big ol' post tomorrow but I have been putting off my graduate school homework all day and if I don't start it, it won't get finished. But, thank you, thank you, thank you and I will be passing them along tomorrow!  

I almost forgot!  I also took one of my new games out of the MEGA Number Sense 0-1,000 pack to share as a FREEBIE with my wonderful followers.  I can't say it enough, I am very thankful to have such awesome teachers reading my blog each day.  You can grab it by clicking on the picture!


Non-Fiction Text Features Part Two

About a week ago, I made some Non-Fiction Text Features posters and today we did a great activity to go with them.  I have TONS of old Weekly Reader editions and I have been saving the free Scholastic News or National Geographic magazines they love to send to teachers in hopes that we will buy a subscription. I took all these, cut out the text features and we had a big ol' text feature sort today.  (I also cut up some REALLY old, torn up books to use a glossary, table of contents and index...I felt horrible cutting up a book but they were in really bad shape, I promise).  The Non-Fiction Text Feature Posters were my 101 follower freebie and you can still grab them for FREE by clicking the picture below!

You can also check out my kiddos in action.


Non-Fiction Text Features and How-To-Make a Preview

Late last night I put together some posters to teach non-fiction text features.  There is an mClass comprehension question that asks about text features and I had never really taught them in K-2 but I think they are great to introduce!  I created 14 text features posters which you can get by clicking on the preview below!

I also used these to do a great activity with my kiddos today.  I introduced each poster, taped them up all around the room and then gathered up some different non-fiction books I had in the room (dictionary, weekly reader, biography and just normal non-fiction books).  I would project a part of the book (a text feature) on the SmartBoard using the Elmo and my students would walk and stand in front of the poster that identified the text feature.  They loved it and compared it to 4 corners.  

Also, I had an e-mail from a sweet follower asking how to make a preview.  I wondered the SAME thing when I started making things for TPT and there seemed like there wasn't a tutorial anywhere to be found.  I'm not good enough to take and edit a video so I figured I would just post the steps on how I make a preview.  I'm sure that some do it differently, but this works for me!

*Let me say that I use a Mac and Microsoft Office 2011.  I am pretty sure the steps are similar in other versions of Office but they may differ slightly*

1. Make your packet in PowerPoint. I always used word until I found out I could change the orientation of PowerPoint (page layout) and now I only use PowerPoint since it lets me move things around so much easier.  If you want to copy and past something you made in word to PP, make sure you copy it and then select PASTE SPECIAL or it won't have the right formatting.

2. Save your created PowerPoint presentation as a JPEG, not a PowerPoint presentation.  You can change this when you click SAVE.  This is in the same spot where you would usually save it as a PDF. There is a drop down menu. This works so much better than a screenshot, since screenshots usually end up being fuzzy. This will save each slide as a picture, I usually put it on the desktop so they're easy to retrieve.

3. Open a blank presentation. You only need 1 slide for the preview. I put digital scrapbook paper on the slide first so it looks pretty. You can get digital scrapbook paper from lots of places but be careful of the terms of use.  I like dreamlike magic's paper best!

4. Open the folder where you saved the pictures of each slide. Drag and drop the pictures you saved from your presentation into the new presentation.

5.  Resize the pictures until they look how you would like. You can rearrange them to bring them forward or send them behind other pictures by right-clicking and choosing ARRANGE.

6. Once you have finalized the slide, save it again as a JPEG.

7. Upload the JPEG preview to TPT or your blog.

If that is confusing or you would like more clarification, just let me know.  Feel free send this link to anyone who is also wondering how to make a preview!

The Leprechaun Trap {a firsties project}

I know I'm breaking the blogging cardinal rule but I just finished this packet and couldn't wait! t used to do this project every year with my first graders.  I would do it with my 2nd graders as well but since the first grade team at my school still does it, I don't want to hear "we did that last year...".  So, I thought I would share the project with any first grade teachers out there.  You can grab it on TPT by clicking on the picture!

The project includes the following:
~ Parent Letter with instructions
~ How-To Steps Worksheet
~ Illustration Worksheet
~ 17 award badges
~ Grading Rubric
~ Pictures from my kiddos previous projects


Common Core Resources Part Two

I'm still on the hunt for anything and everything common core! Our school has started buying some books to teach the 6 units of ELA common core (as determined by the common core mapping project). I was searching Amazon for all of the exemplar text books needed to teach the units until I found a great website.  The  Basic Plus Books website has already grouped book according to units which makes it super easy to find and buy exactly what you'll need to teach each unit!  I already picked out several books to order for unit 1 and 2! And the cute picture of the two who run the website seem so sweet!

I also found that Scholastic has Common Core book sets by grade level that are very affordable for schools who don't have a lot to spend.  The books are categorized by standard not ELA units.  I mentioned this before but after playing around with it a little bit I was surprised how inexpensive the sets were for the amount of books you get.

And, I just happened to stumble across a website that I asked our school to buy subscriptions for, you may have already heard of it, A to Z Reading.  This website is a gold mine, although it does come with a price. It has resources for all the domains of reading, it offers digital books and tons of printable materials. Our county isn't planning on purchasing an overall basal series or set of common core materials (that I know of) and I think this website could be a huge help with supplementing materials that are already aligned to the core and by guided reading level.

I had heard a little about A to Z previously because they also have FREE iPad/iPhone leveled reader apps. They also offer some paid apps, but I have downloaded 20 of their free books which have comprehension questions at the end of the story and are great little readers. They look similar to this...

Last but not least, our school is looking to renew our Study Island subscription which is also aligned to the Common Core standards!  We have had Study Island for a while but they have also recently created a program called Reading Eggs for pre-K through 1st grade.  This computer program is not free but offers a wealth of instruction, assessment and practice lessons digitally.  They also offer state alignment until your state begins using the Common Core standards.  You can sign up for a FREE trial to see how you like the program with options to view state aligned courses and national standard courses.  If you or your school has found anything else, please don't be shy to share!

Common Core Resources

My school is trying to get a handle on what next year will bring when we transition to Common Core.  We have been using the Houghton Mifflin basal so this will be quite a change for us.  In an effort to help begin planning, I have been creating a list of on-line resources that offer lessons, activities, games and scope of sequences for the Core standards.  My school is also looking for what kind of resources we should buy to help implement the standards.  Since money is always tight these days, we want to make sure we buy things that offer the most "bang for our buck". If you or your school has bought book packs, computer programs, magazine subscriptions or online subscriptions that help teach the Core, I'd LOVE to hear about it.
As for the online resources, here is a nice little list to get started with. Again, I'd love to hear your feedback on using these or any others that I didn't list.

1. Pennsylvania Department of Education- FREE online database of materials and resources available by grade level and standard.

2. Common Core Maps Project- $20 to join for K-2,  $20 for 3-5.  Lesson plans, discounted materials

3. Pulaski County Common Core Standards Database - FREE K-2 Literacy and Math Units Broken down by week. Includes lessons and activities

4. Fort Smith Literacy- FREE curriculum maps, sight word lists, activities, K-2

5. Scholastic Common Core- Online web app to find discounted book packages to purchase that are aligned to the Common Core by grade to teach the ELA units.

6. Read Tennessee- FREE, Great database of lessons, centers and activities by grade and standard, K-3 (more to be added)

1. K-5 Math Teaching Resources- FREE, K-5 Math games and activities by grade level and aligned to each standard

2. Fuel the Brain- FREE online math games, aligned to each grade level and by standard, K-3

3. IXL Math- $199/yr. Online math games and activities aligned to Common Core, K-12

4. Read Tennessee- FREE, Great database of lessons, centers and activities by grade and standard, K-3 (more to be added)

5. National Science Digital Library- FREE online database of digital math lessons, K-12

Also, visit Utah Education Network for a TON of resources both literacy and math, they are currently experience an outage on the website, but they will be back up soon.  I hope this helps you get started with some resources and please share if you have something good that I didn't list.